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First day of school
November 25, 2020 / Advocacy / Family and diabetes / Child

First day of school

15 min read

Memories of a Mom – 6.

 Today, my big nineteen-year-old son is in his first year of college.  But my memories are still fresh, I still see a picture of a little sleeping boy.  I have wondered countless times, poking those little fingers in the late hours of the night, how we endured all those days of growing up, with a strong desire to see him big, healthy, happy, and smart – as a student, as then were his sisters.  How many fears, how many different possibilities, and situations with an unclear outcome.  With diabetes, two and two are never four.

 Then, a few days after leaving the hospital, he was preparing for his first day of school.  No way to fall asleep, great excitement, fear, and joy.  New booklets and a large bag in which, along with a pencil case and crayons, a beautiful small colorful plastic box with solid pages, named MARKO, has taken its permanent place.  We carefully selected it, decorated it with cheerful stickers, and placed in it the necessary vital valuables: a device for measuring blood sugar, a few strips, a few small rolls of cotton wool and a small bottle of alcohol, a lancet, and spare lancet, fructose candies and a few biscuits, a small diary of self-checks and a mandatory diabetic card.

At the bottom of the box, a cute little orange box with Glucagon Novo Hypokit written on it also found a place.  Just in case!  Hypoglycemia can always surprise us!

 To the teacher, principal, and school pedagogue, I photocopied the basic concepts and instructions on diabetes according to the book by prof.  Miroslav Dumic’s “Diabetes and Children” because, just as I had never met a “sweet” child before, so most pedagogical workers have not had similar experiences in their entire working life.

 Slowly, patiently, with a lot of optimism, with a smile on your face, without creating panic, with a lot of love, caring, and without pitying the child and serious enough not to ignore the possibility of sudden hypoglycemia, one of them should immediately provide first aid to the child and only then call the parents.

 In addition to always having fructose candies and a wrapped small spare sandwich in his bag, but to be as similar as possible to the other students, which made him very happy, the teacher and I agreed he will eat a snack in the school kitchen, checking the sugar in the blood.  In order not to raise the sugar level too much, we asked the cooks in the kitchen not to sweeten the tea and cocoa for him, and I gave the teacher a box of artificial sweeteners.

Day after day we were a better team, but the sugar varied, every day was different.  If he ate an extra small sandwich before physical education, and they just talked and measured their height in class – no good sugar levels.  If he played the ball vigorously and didn’t eat an extra sandwich – no good sugar levels, he would have to run for candy and drink the juice.

It doesn’t matter, so teaching can’t be directed towards one child!  It is important that he managed and that everything ended well.  Bravo Marko!  Conversation, conversation, warnings, the experience is the most important Marko think about it, think what you will do if and what if? Only that these “ifs” there are countless combinations.  Sugar is rising unexpectedly?!  The phenomenon of dawn?!  The twilight phenomenon?!  Sudden adrenaline jumps?!  Small viruses?!  Stronger colds?!  Other hormones?!  The questions are like in the story, and the answers are very variable.

 Marko was very happy with himself when all the children would gather around him as he poked his finger and controlled the sugar with a sensor.  He rejoiced that only he was allowed to get up during class and drink water.  He was looking forward to being the only one allowed to eat during class because he would say he had low sugar.  These were small children’s joys that every adult will allow a child who has to take care of his health at such a young age.

 He was convinced that the teacher loved him the most when he allowed him to do all this.  I supported such thinking because I have always believed that the mental state of every person, and especially the mood of a child, is equal, if not more important than physical disability. 

One day he came home and complained that the teacher often asked him if he was okay, noticed that he was a little pale, so she approached and took out a sweetener that she always carried in his pocket and advised him to eat one.  “Oh my gosh, Mom,” he would say.  He didn’t want to, but the teacher was persistent he must take it, and he has to listen to the teacher!  “But, mom I don’t like it, it’s very yucky in my mouth, then I have to drink water, let’s tell the teacher not to give it to me every day,” he asked me.

 I can imagine how he felt.  So how come the teacher doesn’t know what artificial sweetener is for?  A quiet, older lady who has never used it so she doesn’t know.  But it doesn’t matter, I can’t be angry about it.  Better to be caring than uninterested.  She must have just wanted to help him.

 I thanked the teacher very carefully for taking such good care of my child, but I said that it would no longer be necessary to use sweetener at all, not even in tea because his sugars were in order.

Other texts from this series can be found here

Ivana Kukec Read more posts by this author
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